British GP stewards have thrown out Red Bull’s request to reopen the investigation into Lewis Hamilton’s penalty for colliding with Max Verstappen in the British GP.
It means the results of Silverstone and Hamilton’s victory definitively stand with the Englishman eight points behind Verstappen heading into this weekend’s Hungarian GP, live only on Sky Sports F1.
Red Bull invoked their right of review having felt the penalty of 10 seconds imposed on Hamilton was too lenient.
To have a chance of the stewards reopening the case, Red Bull were required to bring forward a previously unseen “significant and relevant new element” of evidence.
However, after meeting with Red Bull and Mercedes representatives in a video call on Thursday afternoon, stewards ruled several hours later that the evidence submitted by the former did not meet the criteria to re-open the case.
Mercedes welcomed the verdict – and issued a stinging rebuke of Red Bull, accusing the team’s “senior management” of a “concerted attempt to tarnish Lewis Hamilton’s good name and sporting integrity”.
What did Red Bull submit?
The FIA said that Red Bull’s submission consisted of a letter and four pieces of evidence in attached slides.
The slides included GPS data available to the team of Hamilton and Verstappen’s cars in the incident, plus alleged comparisons of the lines taken by the Mercedes when he overtook Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for the win later in the race at the same corner.
They also presented what was described as a “re-enactment” of Hamilton’s lap one line at Silverstone based on a lap driven by Alex Albon, Red Bull’s reserve driver, from a filming day at Silverstone last week.
The verdict statement also made reference to allegations that have not been made public: “The Stewards note, with some concern, certain allegations made in the Competitor’s above letter. Such allegations may or may not have been relevant to the Stewards if the Petition for Review had been granted.
“The Stewards may have addressed these allegations directly in any decision that would have followed. The Petition having been dismissed, the Stewards make no comments on those allegations.”
Responding to the outcome of Thursday’s meeting, Mercedes returned fire on Red Bull in a strongly-worded statement.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1)
“The Mercedes F1 Team welcomes the decision of the stewards to reject Red Bull Racing’s right of review,” said the seven-time world champions.
“In addition to bringing this incident to a close, we hope that this decision will mark the end of a concerted attempt by the senior management of Red Bull Racing to tarnish the good name and sporting integrity of Lewis Hamilton, including in the documents submitted for their unsuccessful right of review.
“We now look forward to going racing this weekend and to continuing our hard-fought competition for the 2021 Formula One World Championship.”
Two weeks on: What did Verstappen & Hamilton say about the incident?
Verstappen: “The outcome [with the crash] I think he didn’t expect but I think he definitely misjudged the speed of entering in such a tight angle into that corner, and that’s why he understeered wide.
“Of course I don’t think he meant to make me crash in such a fashion, but that’s not for me to answer, But nevertheless I didn’t score any points which is the worst [thing] about all of it.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton, who said he would not change any aspect of his driving in the incident, pointed to his experience and success as evidence of his know-how in wheel-to-wheel combat.
Hamilton: “In terms of the move, I would do the move exactly the way I did it last in terms of how I’ve reviewed it and analysed from all my experience.
“And my experience over the years speaks for a lot – I won’t change it. None of us ever want to see another driver injured or in harm’s way or put a driver in harm’s way.
“I did give Max a call after the race to check if he was okay and let him know that the respect is still there.”